Bunionella and Honch visited for a couple of days in the middle of their road trip. They've had the top down on the convertible and avoided the interstate highways as much as possible. They arrived after the rain stopped on Saturday and left this morning after TBG went to spin class.
No matter how long they stay, it's never enough.
There are some people who know how to maintain long-distance relationships. I'm pretty good at it, most of the time, but I have sympathy for those who don't invest the time or the effort. It's hard to stay close when there's distance between you.
Miss Nancy and I hiked every Saturday and Sunday when I lived in Marin. Sometimes, when I could convince her to cut out early from work, we'd sneak in a Friday afternoon close-to-home adventure. We talked about everything and nothing. We shared the contents of our cupboards and our calendars and the love and aggravation provided by our children. We walked and we talked and after a month or so all the nieces and nephews and brothers and cousins were clearly delineated for each of us.
When we moved, I left a pair of hiking shoes and socks in her garage; that way I didn't have to pack them when I traveled west. It was a certainty that I would always stop by for a hike. That was six years ago; I've used the shoes once in all that time.
My 8-mile-hiking-days are over, for now, it's true. I couldn't keep up with her rabbit like uphill pace, and the downhills would do me in for sure. But there are other reasons we haven't hiked, and most of them are because we've just lost touch.
I used to receive emails with pictures of our mountain trails, or her vacation hikes, or a comment on a post. I used to send the same kinds of things to her. Gradually, the time between correspondences grew greater and greater and the amount of information needed to bring her up to speed on my life grew larger and larger. After a while, I just stopped typing, and so did she.
I miss her breezy attitude and sound advice and her stories about the cousins and nephews and sisters and aunts who made up her loving, Italian clan. They were intimately involved with each others' lives; I was the soap opera voyeur who was fascinated by their antics. I always believed that she liked my stories as much as I liked hers.
Why have I managed to keep emailing others while ignoring my erstwhile gym-rat-and-hiking-buddy? I have no idea. Typing to you about it is closing the gap for me. Perhaps I'll send her the link to this post.
After spending the weekend with dear old friends, I'm reminded that they are a commodity to be treasured and nurtured. Here's my apology for losing track of your life, Miss Nancy. Shall we start again?